I was passionate about helping experts grow their online brands and businesses, and I wanted to quickly grow my own, but I didn’t have a list or anything to offer. I didn’t even have a website.
I sat behind my desk and spun in slow circles in my chair, searching for the fastest way to launch JasonGracia.com and earn income as an expert.
I loved the idea of writing my next book, but the project would take months. Creating a course would take just as long. What I needed was an offer that combined value with speed, something that could bring money into the business overnight while still giving the customer an incredible experience.
The answer arrived on my third spin.
I stopped the chair, wiggled the mouse to wake the computer, and got to work.
The Source of Our Value
We are experts. As such, our value isn’t the book or the course or the speech—it’s the information. It’s our experience and know-how, invisible and invaluable, that people need and want.
I didn’t need to write a book or create a course to offer my expertise. I could have a conversation. I could be a coach.
That afternoon, after bringing my computer out of hibernation, I Googled “expert” and scanned the results for my market—men and women running businesses sharing and selling their expertise.
I stumbled upon a promising site, clicked into his world, and set my system in motion. In the end, I had a paying client, with more to come.
This is how I earned thousands as an expert before even launching a website.
What follows is the full story of how I made it happen and how you can do it too.
The Perks & The Power of Coaching
In minutes, I went from having nothing more than an idea to having a valuable service. (This, of course, assumes that you can deliver results.) Speed of implementation, though, is just one of the many benefits of online coaching…
- It’s Free. I paid $4,000 for my first run of books. My audio courses required thousands in production and shipping costs. My online coaching program? Free. Using the tools of the Internet, I set up shop without paying a dime.
- It’s High-Value. The closer you are to the source of information, the more value you receive. With online coaching, your clients get YOU—not a video or a book or a course. That’s more valuable than any other product or service.
- It’s High-Margin. Because of that value, online coaching is also a high-margin service. Clients don’t pay for a paperback book or course materials. They pay for results, which is why an hour on the phone can be worth thousands in benefits.
- It’s in Demand. If you have the solution to your market’s problem, few things are as enticing as learning that solution directly from the creator. It doesn’t scale like a book, but when you can earn as much from a handful of clients as you can from selling thousands of products, it’s not really a problem.
- It Boosts Authority. If you’re willing to offer one-on-one coaching services to your market, people naturally assume that you know your material. You must be an expert. Otherwise, why take that risk?
- It Offers Immediate Feedback. Nothing will teach you more about your market or your topic than working directly with clients. You’ll see into their hearts and minds like never before. This is why I tell my own clients to talk with people…about their problems, their needs and wants, their dreams and their frustrations. The education is priceless.
- It Delivers the Greatest Results. Coaching is fluid. You can respond and react in ways that are impossible with lifeless products or services. Because of this, you can help clients get the best possible results. This will massively improve your brand marketing (case studies, testimonials, proof, etc.), improve the lives of your clients, and give you something we all seek—fulfillment.
These are just a few of the many reasons to add coaching to your product suite. After working with clients of your own, you’ll experience the rest.
Your 1st & 2nd Decision
Sharing your expertise through coaching requires two choices: breadth of content and type of connection. When I started my program for JasonGracia.com, I opted for teaching my particular business framework to clients using email and instant message chats. You may mix and match the following to suit your preferences and expertise.
- One-Time Sessions: These are single coaching sessions—often one hour in length—used to solve a particular problem for a client. In most programs, the expert outlines possible topics for clients to choose from and then dives deeply into the subject during the session. If I offered one-time sessions, I could offer help with expert positioning, website creation, traffic, building an audience, developing products and services, etc.
- Virtual VIP Days: These consist of a full day of coaching, usually a morning session and afternoon session with a break in between, used to cover a single topic in depth and deliver a tangible result. A fitness expert, for instance, could use a VIP day to create a custom diet and workout plan for her clients.
- Ongoing Framework: If you’d rather work with a client over time, you can offer an ongoing program. The first type, framework, involves walking clients through your system or signature solution, month by month. When I coached clients on a monthly basis, for example, I taught them how to implement the six pillars of my expert framework.
- Ongoing Non-Framework: Your other ongoing option is a non-framework program, in which you use your expertise to help clients achieve their goals without following an overall system or path. Clients bring their problems and you work together to find solutions.
When it comes to having that “conversation,” you have several options, each quick and easy to setup and free to use. You can mix and match, as I often did with my programs, or stick with the choice you like best.
- Email Coaching: Many experts earn thousands each month offering a simple email coaching program. A limited number of clients send questions, often one per day, five days a week, with a guaranteed response within 24 to 48 hours. You can mix it up by sending clients a video response from time to time or offering an initial phone consultation. Typical fees range from $97 to $297 per month for this type of service.
- Instant Message Coaching: One of my favorite options, instant message coaching is a powerful way to work with clients. My program included four chat sessions per month, one hour in length, via Skype (you can also use tools like Facebook’s messaging service). After each session, I sent a full PDF transcript. This option doesn’t offer the “touch” of voice or video, but having a written record is a benefit you can’t ignore. Typical fees range from $297 to $997 per month for this type of service.
- Telephone Coaching: One of the most popular options, telephone coaching is another massively effective means of helping clients. Similar to instant message coaching, most programs include four one-hour calls per month with a transcript of the audio emailed after each session. I know some experts who include text messaging, but that’s a bit much for me. I love my clients—but not that much. Typical fees range from $497 to $1,997 for this type of service.
- Video Coaching: Usually run via Skype or Google+ Hangouts, video coaching connects you to your client like nothing else. You can see and feel their reactions, rapidly responding to the flow of conversation. As with IM and phone, most experts offer four sessions per month. Typical fees range from $497 to $1,997 for this type of service.
The particular fees you’ll charge depend on your level of experience and your area of expertise. I always tell my clients to study their competition and colleagues. What are other experts in your industry charging?
The Rest of My Story
It’s a large leap to go from running a Google search to earning thousands as an expert. Allow me to fill in the gaps.
As you recall, I searched for experts running the types of businesses I could help. After finding an ideal client, I visited his site and wrote up a basic assessment—tweaks he could make to his design, content, copy, etc. that would quickly improve results.
This is where knowing your topic comes into play. If your information isn’t good, people are unlikely to follow up with you.
Fortunately a decade+ of struggling, searching for answers, and finally succeeding as an expert online gave me the goods.
He was grateful for the tips and couldn’t wait for the free coaching session. We connected on Skype, where I outlined a plan for his business that would boost traffic, subscribers, and sales. I answered basic questions, then wrapped up with an offer for my services. He booked on the spot.
It didn’t always work like this, of course. Each prospect is unique. But the right experts, the men and women who needed my help and recognized the value of my offer, happily became paying clients.
Without a list, without a product, and without a website, I earned thousands per month as an expert.
You can too.
Question of the Day: I know of no other way to earn such an incredible income as an expert with little to no personal cost, aside from time and mental effort. As a true expert, you can do this—and I’m here to help. What would you like to know about launching or improving your own coaching service? Let me know below and, as always, we’ll get the conversation rolling.